Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars
Reviewed by Dec 10th, 2012

I didn’t watch this when it was on television, and I just finished watching the series a few days ago. This follows what happens in the end of the series, when our heros John Crichton (Ben Browder) and Aeryn Sun(Claudie Black) decide to get married, but then they’re crystallized and turned to dust. Then we have to cultivate our suspension of disbelief for a bit, because a 3d-animated Rygel is swimming around on this water planet, gathering up the pieces of the two so they can be reassembled. Stranger things have happened in this series, though, and there would be no story if they just left them in pieces on the ocean floor. So, moving right along…

Like I said, I’d just finished watching the series. That made it all the more jarring that there are some really strange changes to many of the characters. Sikozu now has Flock of Seagulls hair and is wearing a black leather outfit. I guess you get a makeover when you start dating Scorpius, I don’t know, but Sikozu is completely unrecognizable, despite the fact that it’s the same actress. She looks like she could be in a J-Pop band. Fortunately, she’s not that important a character in the movie. Rygel looks a lot younger and a lot greener, but after a few minutes, I no longer cared about Rygel’s facelift. The male pregnancy thing was a bit odd, though.

Chiana looks different, too. Part of it is because of her eyes. At the end of the series, she went blind from having visions, and then she gets new eyes. I didn’t think it was really necessary to make them look so different, but whatever. It’s the makeup that bothered me, there’s less of the darker shading on her skin. It bothered me because Chiana’s makeup was awesome in the series and didn’t need to be changed. It wasn’t all that different, but it wasn’t the same, either. I also don’t know what the hell happened to Jool. Maybe they just wanted her to look weirder. I didn’t like it. War Minister Akna has a new hat and different makeup, but it didn’t bother me. It’s a better hat. Grayza’s tits are covered. They also re-used the actress that plays the nurse on Katratzi as an Eidelon high priestess, but it’s not like they haven’t reused actors before, so that’s not really a complaint.

Which us brings us to Pilot. I could probably spend several paragraphs gushing about how much I love Pilot (in the series), but I’ll try to restrain myself. After a few scenes of Pilot, I was so upset I paused the DVD to google “Pilot’s voice in Peacekeeper Wars.” Some reviews said they just lost the filter for his voice, others seemed to suggest that Lani Tupu simply did a piss-poor job. Sometimes his voice sounds too low, and sounds more like Crais than Pilot. A few lines here and there sound like Pilot, but I think if we could hear the raw voice tracks from the series, this is probably exactly what Pilot sounded like without the filters, so I’m not going to blame Lani Tupu. However, I found it incredibly upsetting every time Pilot said something, and at one point, almost wished Pilot would just die(!). Pilot was one of my favorite characters, and I realize now how important his voice was to make him seem like an alien. And more importantly, it hurt the continuity for me, because I kept feeling like Moya had inexplicably gotten a new Pilot. (This might sound racist, but members of the Pilot species all the look the same to me, you can only tell them apart by their voices.) Along with the visual changes to other characters, it seemed like this was one of the bizarro-world through-the-wormhole versions of the characters, and not the real characters themselves. It was very distracting.

Thankfully, they left pretty much everyone else alone. Scorpius is still the same, and Harvey makes a few appearances. The sets are pretty awesome, and there are wormholes and weapons and a lot of weird aliens.

But on to the actual miniseries/movie… The series got cancelled after four seasons, and it wasn’t really a satisfying ending. It was apparently supposed to go for another season to play out the whole story. Due partly to demand from fans, this got made. Amazingly, pretty much everybody returned. And after so much time spent in the end of the series worrying over Aeryn’s baby, it seemed a bit weird for the series to end by vaporizing it before it was even born. In any case, it does get born in the movie, although in less-than-favorable conditions.

As you’d probably suspect, a lot of this also has to do with wormhole weapons and impending war involving the Scarrans and Peacekeepers. In the end of the series, John was conflicted over wanting to know about wormholes and the dangers of wormhole technology when used as weapons. He originally wanted to know about them so he could get home. The Scarrans and the Peacekeepers wanted his knowledge so they could blow shit up and rule the universe, but they didn’t seem to understand the real dangers of weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, some weird race called the Eidelons are trying to influence everybody to be peaceful, but it’s not an easy job and there aren’t enough of them, so there’s a lot of fighting and Jothy inexplicably appears with a new nose.

Another thing I don’t entirely understand is that, back in season 3, Talyn-John creates a wormhole weapon with the help of Ancient-Jack and uses it to blow up a Scarran dreadnaught. While it is certainly a badass weapon in that episode, it’s not at all like what happens with the weapon here. I’m sure it was exaggerated to make a point, but before, John just did his thing with the weapon, blew up the Scarrans, and that was that (well, except for the radiation thing, but that’s neither here nor there). And then it was done. I suppose he had Ancient-Jack to help him out at the time, and this time the DRDs make the weapon. He expresses regret that it was made, but uses it anyway, opening a fiery wormhole that threatens to eat the whole galaxy. Was this for effect, or do DRDs make more powerful weapons? I suppose it had to be a lot scarier to convince everyone of the dangers of this sort of weaponry.

So it does manage to tie up a lot of loose ends about the baby, wormhole weapons, the Scarrans and the Peacekeepers. I enjoyed it, but I found the changes to be really jarring. Sometimes I found myself paying too much attention to the changes in the characters and not enough attention to the actual story. It was nice to have everything wrapped up and explained, especially the wormhole and baby stuff, but it’s not perfect. As always, the acting and effects are great. The story does feel like they tried to shove too much stuff in there, but that’s probably because they tried to shove too much stuff in there. Some of the stuff that happens seems a bit unlikely, but I didn’t really care about that, either. It’s certainly worth watching if you watched the series, however. Otherwise, you won’t have any idea what the hell is going on. Of course, if you haven’t watched the series, you should do that, because it is one of the best things that was ever on TV.

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